Mediterranean Empires Cruise on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam

June is a very hot month in the Mediterranean.  We had incredibly sunny and dry days with soaring temperatures throughout our journey.  With all the exploring and walking in the ports, the sun tended to sap our energy, so we ate dinner and found our way back to our cabin most evenings.  We were too tired for many late night activities on board the ship.

Holland America’s signature Towel Art awaits you each evening in your stateroom

The Manhattan Dining Room is the ship’s main dining room

The Nieuw Amsterdam offers four restaurants in addition to the Lido Restaurant, which is the casual dining option.  Two of the specialty restaurants were standouts: Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind.  For an elegant evening surrounded by crystal chandeliers and fine cuisine, Pinnacle Grill offers a more formal and intimate dining experience.  Pinnacle Grill was also host to the Le Cirque Dinner that takes place on each Holland America cruise.  Partnering with the famed maitre d’hotel turned restauranteur Sirio Maccioni, founder of Le Cirque Restaurant of New York, these evenings are a diversion from the Pinnacle’s Grill’s regular fare and offer a creative menu such as Lobster Salad “Le Cirque” and Sweet Corn Bisque.

Canaletto offers an Italian dining option at one end of the Lido Restaurant

Pinnacle Grill is perfect for a special evening

Tamarind Restaurant, with its Asian flavors of spice and heat and colorful setting, piqued our interest many evenings.  This Pan-Asian specialty restaurant and its accompanying bar, the Silk Den, are located on the uppermost deck and offer stunning panoramic views perfect for watching the sunset.  The menu choices were plentiful, including sushi and sashimi.  We became regulars and quickly developed a  friendship with our servers.

We dined at each of the four restaurants at least twice and for those nights we were in port, we ventured out to experience a local dinner.   I will share more about this in future articles.

Tamarind Grill quickly became our favorite restaurant option

Emely greeted us at the Silk Den bar

As with all adventures, they must come to an end.  This itinerary gave us the opportunity to visit far away places and experience the foods and cultures of several very different countries.  While we were not completely immersed in the culture of these places, it was the perfect way to awaken our interest for future travel.  We are already planning the next trip. 🙂

Sailing back into Venice (5:30 am Canale dell Giudecca) at the end of the cruise

Saying goodbye to the ship while on a water taxi in the Canale Di Fusine in Venice

Here are two additional articles about our on board culinary experience and interview with Chef Ken Oringer of Clio in Boston, Massachusetts:

Interview with Chef Ken Oringer

Recipe for a Clear Tomato Martini from Chef Ken Oringer

Sunset outside of Tamarind Restaurant

* Disclaimer – Holland America Line provided one media ticket and three dinners during the cruise.  We paid for the additional cruise ticket, all port taxes and fees, transportation, additional dinners, port excursions and alcoholic beverages while on board the ship.  I was not compensated in any way for this post and as always, the opinions expressed here are my own.

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